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OpenAI has opened applications for the second cohort of its six-week program for artificial intelligence (AI) startups, Converge 2, through which it will invest $1 million into each of the 15 successful participants selected. 

The organization behind ChatGPT announced that the initiative, accessible worldwide, is aimed at individuals like engineers, designers, researchers and product builders utilizing AI for innovative purposes. OpenAI founded the startup fund on the idea that robust AI systems will fuel a new era of groundbreaking startups.

The rapid proliferation of AI tools and solutions has ignited support from industry experts and investors alike. Generative AI startups have received considerable funding from various companies and organizations in 2023 alone.

In November 2022, OpenAI initiated the first phase of the startup fund to support aspiring founders and companies creating innovative AI products. It provided $1 million in investment to each of the 12 chosen startups from the pool of applicants.

Announcing the program via a statement shared by its CEO, Sam Altman, OpenAI explained the initiative’s background and its impact on AI. The company stated that the startup fund initiative is OpenAI, doing its part to help push the boundaries of applied AI in essential domains.

The company said the initial and final weeks of the program will take place in San Francisco, with OpenAI covering travel expenses for participants.

The company also encourages founders from diverse backgrounds to apply, regardless of their location outside the United States or experience level. It highlights that prior experience with AI systems is not a requirement.

Related: Is OpenAI about to drop a new ChatGPT upgrade? Sam Altman says ‘nah’

The application period runs from Dec. 13, 2023, to Jan. 26, 2024.

Kasikornbank, a private bank in Thailand, also introduced a primary fund of $100 million, KXVC, to invest in AI, Web3 and deep tech startups, specifically concentrating on the Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, French AI startup Mistral AI disclosed fundraising of $415 million in its recent funding round, which concluded on Dec. 1. The funding round was spearheaded by Andreessen Horowitz, along with support from the startup’s original backers, Lightspeed Ventures.

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